MDRN is a KU Leuven research lab that studies a uniquely varied period in literary history: the (long) first half of the 20th century. MDRN looks at the many ways in which modernist literature during this period was defined and legitimized in each of the main Western European traditions (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch) and focuses on literature's multiple functions, histories and mediatizations.
MDRN was founded in 2011 by Jan Baetens, Sascha Bru, Dirk de Geest, David Martens and Bart Van Den Bossche with a double aim: to further our understanding of literature in the modernist period, and, more generally, to develop a multidimensional and functionalist approach to change in modern Western European literature.
The lab's work and projects are supported by a variety of funding bodies. The lab annually hosts conferences, lectures and workshops, and further organizes exhibitions. This website reports on past and upcoming initiatives as well as on the team's publications.